Two students the first to join UMaine under College of Engineering-Thornton Academy partnership

SACO—Thornton Academy seniors Caleb Bailey and Ben Leary have been accepted into The University of Maine’s College of Engineering with sophomore status through a first-in-the-state partnership forged to create a pipeline of Maine residents entering the engineering sector. Both students are completing a rigorous curriculum that has included Advanced Placement (AP) courses in chemistry, physics, computer science, calculus, foreign language, the humanities, history/social science, and English, as well as an Honors Introduction of Engineering course. First announced in 2013, this unique articulation agreement allows the students to complete 30 college credits, bypassing freshman year—an estimated savings of at least $24,000.

Live Facebook Feed from Thornton Academy from the May 25th ceremony.

The mission of the College of Engineering at the University of Maine is to produce the graduates and new technologies needed to move Maine’s economy forward. In recognizing the need for skilled engineers in Maine, Thornton Academy has partnered with the college to ensure students are best prepared to tackle complex problems and create unique solutions in our changing world. This partnership rewards motivated students with the ability to challenge themselves, reach their full potential, defray college costs, and complete an undergraduate degree in just three years.


Upon learning of Caleb and Ben’s achievements, UMaine’s Dean of Engineering Dana N. Humphrey said, “I commend these two students for completing an entire year of engineering education through the UMaine College of Engineering–Thornton Academy partnership. This shows both the dedication of these students and the high-quality education provided by Thornton Academy.”


Dean Humphrey formally recognized the accomplishments of these two students at a ceremony held at Thornton Academy in Hyde Library on May 25. “Maine absolutely needs more engineers. Over Caleb and Ben’s working lifetimes, the challenges that engineers are going to need to solve are immense,” he said.

Dana N. Humphrey congratulating Benjamin Leary.
Dana Humphrey congratulating Caleb Bailey.








Left to right: Thornton Academy’s Associate Headmaster Marsha Snyder, Thornton Academy Headmaster Rene M. Menard, Caleb Bailey, Ben Leary, and Dean of UMaine’s College of Engineering Dana N. Humphrey


Bonita L. Pothier, Regional Representative for Senator Angus S. King, relayed a senatorial sentiment of congratulations “with respect and admiration for your hard work and determination in completing an entire year of engineering education through the UMaine College of Engineering and Thornton Academy partnership. Best wishes for a very bright future.”


Thornton Academy Headmaster Rene M. Menard said, “We’re proud of Caleb and Ben and we’re proud of Thornton Academy’s ability to offer a rigorous and comprehensive STEM program. I also want to congratulate Caleb and Ben’s families as we know that few students can achieve success without family support.”


When the partnership was first announced in August of 2013, former Senator Justin Alfond said, “For Maine to be competitive, we need a highly skilled and well-trained work force…The way Thornton Academy is incorporating STEM education into its regular curriculum, forging new collaborations that will benefit its students is an ideal model. I’m particularly pleased to see the partnership with Maine’s flagship university.”


About Thornton Academy

Thornton Academy, founded in 1811, is a co-educational, private boarding and day school serving grades 6 through 12. Located in the city of Saco, it is one of the nation’s longest operating independent schools and one of only four Apple Distinguished Schools in Maine. The Academy offers a diverse academic curriculum including more than 200 courses, a new $2 million STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) Center, an award-winning visual and performing arts program, competitive athletics including 24 different sports teams, and wide selection of extracurricular activities. For more information,


About the College of Engineering at the University of Maine

The University of Maine advances learning and discovery through excellence and innovation in undergraduate and graduate academic programs while addressing the complex challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century through research-based knowledge. The College of Engineering at the University of Maine is Maine’s only educational institution to offer 11 ABET accredited engineering and engineering technology degree programs. As Maine’s leading engineering program, the college prepares an educated workforce, conducts research that turns knowledge into innovative solutions, and provides outreach that includes STEM initiatives. For more information,